I bumped into something recently and it peaked my interests; Menard boats! What, John Menard and his budget home center chain got into boat building? was my first thought. Ah, it was a different Menard.
What happened at the "end" of the life of Molded Fiber Glass (MFG) Boats at Union City, PA in the early 1980s?
From what I have gleaned, Molded Fiber Glass sold their boat operation at Union City to Quality Boats, Inc. The 1983 brochure has this name upon it. Quality Boats, Incorporated was incorporated in Pennsylvania on 31 October 1980.
A newsapper article of 06 August 1983 indicated that Ron (should be Roger) Menard purchased the molds and tooling of the former MFG boat line. It said that Quality Boats, Inc. closed their doors in late 1982. It does not indicate from whom he purchased the molds. Was it Quality Boats or bankruptcy trustee or ????
He named his new company Menard Fiberglass Boats, Inc. and boats were being built in Houtzdale, PA by late 1983. In August 1985 they moved to nearby Clearfield, PA. The comapny name changed to Menard Fiberglass Products, Inc. By December 1987 they stopped making boats.
When did MFG sell to Quality Boats, Inc.? I wonder why?
Andreas and All, Last year we acquired a 1980 Duchess 15' Tri-Hull blue over white with 1980 Evinrude TnT 85HP motor on an EZ Loader roller trailer. I picked up a 1980 sales brochure and it matches the information on this site. It was the 25th Silver Anniversary year but apparently the last year for MFG as I have not found a later catalog or advertised MFG boat. I have seen images of some literature for Quality Boats but it appears they went back to the Gypsy naming for the tri-hulls. The Duchess is fun and stable so far though needs a new floor, while I work on my 59 Thompson SeaCoaster. Regards, John
Quality boats became MFB for menard Fiberglass Boats, owned by Roger menard, now deceased. Menard made under the Quality name then under the MFB name nearly the entire MFG line for a few years. The last MFB was in 1989. I do know the owner became sick and passed away in 1991. The lapstrakes were changed to smooth sided boats, and menard featured a bay drive setup, meaning outboard bracket as an option on the larger models. I have a 19 menard caprice with an outboard bracket - the bracket made the boats seems much bigger. The MFBs were usually pretty boats due to a good choice of colors, with many being a royal blue and white.
No idea whatever happened to the molds - I have not seen the revised menard style caprices (or gypsies or larger 20/22/25 style)made by another manufacturer. If you search for Roger Menard some info comes up with the names of his children:
The family lived in Clearfield PA not far from State College PA.